Raw cakes that contain no gluten, dairy, eggs or sugar sound almost like magic and something beyond what us regular earthlings are able to whip up in our kitchens but the truth is, once you pluck up the courage to give it your first try, it will be one of the most simple desserts you’ve ever made.
Start of with a basic raw vegan cake recipe consisting of a base layer and creamy batter layer, then experiment with different textures and ingredients to create your own recipes.
Tools for Creating Raw Cakes
The secret to creating raw cakes with ease is using the right tools. Investing into high-quality products is highly recommended and will save you a lot of time and effort.
High-speed blender: you can use your regular blender and get perfectly satisfactory results but in order to create creamy, smooth textures with ease and professional results, I recommend you use a high-end blender with a lot of power (over 1500 Watts) and over 30,000 rotations per minute. Personally, I am in love with my Blendtec blenders and have been using my first one professionally without any issues for the seventh year now, but other brands deliver results that are just as good.
Food processor: food processors are great for grinding nuts and seeds or chopping dates. Use one when creating a rough, chunky texture. You can get great results by using even the lower-end food processors, for example, I use a Philips HR7762/91 even for professional work.
Kitchen scales: invest into precision scales to get perfect results every single time.
Cake bases are usually made by using four base ingredients – nuts or seeds, coconut flakes, dates and coconut oil. Ratios vary depending on the desired result and you can add an endless number of other fun ingredients to create your own signature blends.
A basic cake base recipe for a 26-centimeter cake mold uses:
- 100 grams of ground almonds,
- 50 grams of coconut flakes,
- 3 tablespoons of date paste (made by blending pre-soaked dates and water into thick paste) and
- 3 tablespoons of organic extra virgin coconut oil.
To create a firm and crunchy base, increase the amount of coconut in the recipe (at least double it). Coconut oil firms when cooled and binds the other ingredients together.
Sweet and moist
For a more chewy, moist and sweet base, add more dates either chopped or blended into date paste (us as much as 200 grams of dates). Chopped dates will add a sense of chewiness while date paste makes the base moist.
Light and fluffy
Light and fluffy bases require no coconut oil and just a few (three or four) teaspoons of date paste. Also, replace at least one third of the ground nuts or seeds with coconut flakes.
A basic raw cake batter recipe would use:
- 200 grams of pre-soaked cashews,
- 2 cups of water,
- 120 grams of raw agave,
- 200 grams of coconut oil,
- bourbon vanilla and
- a pinch of salt
Blend all ingredients except coconut oil first until smooth then blend in the coconut oil.
Creamy and thick
To make your cakes creamy but firm, thick and compact, use more coconut oil. For a basic raw chocolate cake, I would use 200 grams of coconut oil so the same amount as in our basic recipe.
Creamy and light
Less compact and firm results can be achieved by using avocado instead of cashews and adding less coconut oil (around 150 grams). This is also a great way of avoiding nuts, just make sure to use seeds or rolled oats to make the cake base.
Mousse and airy
Either a summery edition or something for when you are looking for a light treat, mousse cakes are the way to go. You can either use a can of coconut milk and half a teaspoon of agar agar (cook agar in 50ml of plant-based milk for at least 2 minutes before adding into cake batter and only use 80 grams of cashews and 4 tablespoons of coconut oil) or Irish Moss gel (approximately 1/4 of a cup for one cake) instead of using larger amounts of cashews or coconut oil. To make Irish Moss gel, soak ¼ of a cup of dry Irish Moss flakes in ½ a cup of water overnight and blend until smooth.
To get a cheesecakey texture and taste, reduce the amount of coconut oil in the basic recipe by one-quarter and replace some of the water with lemon juice (use approximately one and a half lemons).
If you wish to create a cake that tastes like white chocolate, substitute at least half of the coconut oil with melted cocoa butter. Note that the more cocoa butter you add, the firmer the cake so you might also want to consider reducing the amount of fat in the recipe.
Be creative with cake layers to combine tastes such as sweet and sour for a nice kick of freshness. Make sure your first layer is firm before adding the next one – I usually cool my cakes in a freezer for at least an hour before adding another layer.
To add a fruit layer on top of your cake, save some of your cake batter and add your fruit of choice, then blend until smooth. If you’re adding a lot of fruit or it contains a lot of moisture, add a few extra spoons of coconut oil. A thin layer of thick fruit, such as mango, can be used without adding any other ingredients – simply by mixing it until smooth with a few drops of lemon juice.
You can top your entire cake with it or create abstract patterns by dripping it on the top – chocolate ganache firms up into a brittle chocolate layer almost immediately after touching the pre-cooled cake surface and adds a new dimension of taste and texture to your cake. To make chocolate ganache, mix equal amounts of raw cocoa, agave, and coconut oil.